By Dr. Candace M. Lewis
As a person who prays, I enjoy reading the verse in James 5:16, because it reminds me that the prayers of a righteous person can be powerful and effective. While watching and witnessing human suffering in the news due to earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, and nuclear problems, I see a great need for powerful and effective prayers. When listening to friends share their work, health, financial, relational, and spiritual challenges, I hear the need for powerful and effective prayers.
Maintaining a right relationship with God and others enables us to pray powerful and effective prayers. James 5:16 states that we should “confess our faults one to another and pray one with another that we might be healed.” The Amplified Bible unpacks the word “faults” as our “slips, false steps, offenses and sins.” Consistent confession of our faults and accountability to God and trustworthy people can be considered disciplines of a righteous person. If receiving God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice grants us righteousness, then these disciplines enable us to experience more of God’s grace in our lives. The less our hearts are cluttered with unconfessed “faults,” the more God’s grace can flow freely through our hearts. God’s grace enables us to pray powerful and effective prayers for the needs of ourselves, our loved ones, and the world around us.
Find a trustworthy person and share any burdens or faults residing in your heart that may be hindering your prayers. Receive God’s forgiveness and grace in your life and pray powerfully and effectively today.
Dr. Candace M. Lewis is Executive Director of Path 1 Ministries of The United Methodist Church.
“For the past two years, I have used Journey to the Table to cultivate community with young adults in Nashville. The rhythm of Journey to the Table with preparation, prayer, listening, silence, and discussion created space for young adults to reflect, grow in their faith, and build relationships. The topics are extremely relevant for emerging adulthood, and the activities and schedule are adaptable for different contexts. We invited the participants to continue the relationships built at Journey to the Table through year-round life groups and affinity groups. I’m looking forward to next year’s Journey to the Table – it truly sets a table for building relationships and growing in our faith.” Learn more about Journey to the Table.